A Global Healthcare Giant Engineers and Builds New In Connecticut

By Mitchell Young

stapler headNORTH HAVEN: Leon Hirsch was hoping to get his entrepreneurial dreams flying in 1963 in the helicopter parts business, when he came across a device described as a “surgical stapler” in a meeting at a patent broker.

The device seemed poorly designed to Hirsch, but he quickly understood its utility in providing a surgeon an alternative to sutures and “needle and thread” stitching.

Soon Hirsch had outfitted a prototype in his basement, and in 1964, he started the fledgling United States Surgical Corporation with four employees.

Hirsch’s early innovation helped to change how surgeries were performed, and his company, would become one of Connecticut’s most successful "start-ups” ever.

More than four decades later the “company” has stitched together its accumulated knowledge of Minimally Invasive Surgery MIS, [entering the body cavity through small incisions or even existing orifices], with advanced engineering, electronics and manufacturing techniques.  

Today’s innovation is an entirely new device with the introduction of a new generation of surgical stapler – The Signia (TM) Stapling System, built by the successor company Medtronic.